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Editions

Car restorations, up close and personal

04 Mar 2013

Car restorations, up close and personal Image

By Bethany Williams

Locals and visitors will soon be able to watch the restoration of classic cars right here in Docklands.

Brian Tanti will open a workshop to the public this month allowing them to see first-hand the magic of car restoration.

Mr Tanti is the former director of the Fox Classic Car Collection and is a former Docklands Chamber of Commerce president.

He is also the CEO of the AutoHorizon Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation behind the FR-1 concept car.

His workshop is based at the Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) but is part of the Fox Classic Car Museum.

The workshop will allow visitors to get an insight into the restoration process.

“It’s all about seeing what happens behind the scenes and seeing the disciplines that are applied when restoring a car,” Mr Tanti said.

The first car to be restored is a 1963 Bentley S2 Continental. Mr Tanti said the restoration would be fairly extensive as the car had a high degree of corrosion and wear.

“It will be a labour intensive process,” he said.

According to Mr Tanti the public restoration will allow visitors to watch the transition of an unrestored car to a restored masterpiece and also to witness restoration disciplines that nowadays are quite often unseen.

Mr Tanti said it was likely the car would be displayed in the museum once restored.

But the workshop won’t be limited to the restoration and maintenance of classic cars.

Mr Tanti said he would also be working on the FR-1 concept car at the workshop, adding another dimension to the visitor experience.

According to Mr Tanti the workshop activity will rotate with different work happening all the time.

Fox Classic Car Museum manager Peta Wheadon said the workshop would allow enthusiasts to admire the quality of work and the craftsmanship that had gone into the recreating and restoring process.

“Brian is one of the best restorers in the world,” Ms Wheadon said.

While appreciating the technical elements involved in restoration, Ms Wheadon said visitors were also intrigued by the history of the cars.

A 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder restored by Mr Tanti in the mid 90s and now featured in the museum was raced by famed drivers Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham.

“Sometimes you can be really lucky and find an interesting former owner,” Mr Tanti said.

The restoration workshop will be open to the public during the museum’s opening hours except when the work being done could pose some risk to visitors.

“It’ll be a balancing act between operating a workshop, which is an industrial facility, while at the same time opening it up to the public,” Mr Tanti said.

The Fox Classic Car Museum is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10am and 2pm and Saturdays between 10am
and 1pm.

The museum is currently looking for volunteers and those interested in getting involved are asked to contact Peta Wheadon at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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